Meet Our Vendors! >> Enjoy Life Foods

Meet Our Vendors! is an ongoing series where you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of who you’ll see in November! Feel free to leave comments and questions–for us and for the vendor–about products, practices, and anything else that’s on your mind.

Last week we announced that our Title and Magic Plus Platinum Sponsor for the first annual Food Allergy & Celiac Convention is super-allergy-friendly Enjoy Life Foods!

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Enjoy Life Foods products are certified gluten-free and Free-From the top 8 food allergens (NO: wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish) making them safe for over 100 million individuals who live with food intolerances. What’s more is that they are readily stocked at Walt Disney World giving you plenty of safe choices at all of the parks and resorts.

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Meet Our Vendors! >> PlantFusion

Meet Our Vendors! is an ongoing series where you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of who you’ll see in November! Feel free to leave comments and questions–for us and for the vendor–about products, practices, and anything else that’s on your mind.

PlantFusion is an plant-based nutrition that manufactures gluten-free and vegan protein and meal-based shakes. Using ingredients that they believe are good for our bodies and the planet, everything they make is free of dairy, soy, and wheat. Their powders offer a little inspiration combined with a lot of taste, making pre-and post-workout options just that much more delicious.

 

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We talked with Scott, the marketing coordinator behind the business, and asked him to dish on the details of their nutrient-rich products. Here’s what he had to tell us:

1. If you could create a PlantFusion shake recipe inspired by a Disney ride/attraction, what would it be?

Mickey Mousse Smoothie

3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 small/medium banana, frozen
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4-1/2 of a ripe avocado
1 tsp. instant coffee granules (optional)
1 scoop (30g) chocolate or cookies n crème PlantFusion

  • Put all ingredients into any standard blender and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer to glass and drink immediately or put it in fridge for 15-20 minutes to allow it to thicken up even more.
  • If you want a more pudding-like consistency, prep the day before and leave in the fridge overnight.

2. What’s the craziest/funniest/most memorable time you’ve experienced with a fan?

Nothing exactly crazy but we’ve received a couple really awesome emails from military members serving overseas. As well as a few celebrities and professional athletes here and there.

Kerry Washington mentioned PlantFusion as her go to protein powder in Women’s Health magazine. Sherri Shepherd tweeted a photo of PlantFusion. Michelle Rodriguez used  our product to build muscle when filming the newest Fast and Furious movie. Super Bowl Champ Steve Weatherford of the NY Giants and Captain of the NJ Devils Bryce Salvador all take the product.

3. As runDisney runners, we love some good fuel pre- and post-workout. What’s the best advice you have for runners or other endurance athletes?

It’s always important to stretch and warm up the body before a run. Dynamic stretches really improve range of motion, loosens up your muscles, and increases heart rate, body temperature, and blood flow to help you run more efficiently.

4. What’s your most popular PlantFusion flavor? Any new flavors on the horizon?

Our most popular flavor is vanilla bean. Mainly because vanilla is a very versatile flavor that you can add into a number of things. A lot of people use vanilla as a base in their smoothies or even in baked foods. Our newest flavor, cookies n crème, is starting to creep up on vanilla. We’re the only vegan protein that has a cookies n crème flavor… plus the fact that it’s gluten free and tastes great doesn’t hurt. As far as new flavors go…. Let’s just say we have a few things in the cooker. (Not literally. We never use high heat when creating our products, ha!).

5. Share with our readers five things we’d never guess about the brains behind your brand… Go!

1. The brand PlantFusion is a division of a much larger company called Reliance Vitamin. They supply mom and pop health food stores with their line own line of private label supplements.

2. Unlike our parent company that’s been doing business for over 20 years, our branded division has only been operating for less than five years.

3. We’ve increased growth and distribution each year we’ve been in business. A sign the natural products industry is very strong.

4. The entire management team of PlantFusion lives healthy, active, plant based lifestyles. I’ve always lived an active lifestyle. When I started working for PlantFusion I watched a film called Forks Over Knives. It really opened my eyes about what I was eating on a daily basis. I then turned vegetarian and now live a full vegan lifestyle. I’m an avid runner, clyclist and former hockey player (mens leagues doesn’t count, ha). I’ve made it a goal to run at least one major marathon each year.

5. The product was originally created to help patients fighting disease that couldn’t eat food. Our first real market was the mom and pop health food stores. The majority of stores were selling outdated products that didn’t really taste very good. We gave them something different to offer at an affordable price. From there we expanded distribution to the west coast targeting natural grocery chains, wellness centers, etc. When you have such a healthy, delicious product the possibilities are endless.

Facebook: /plantfusion
Twitter:  @plantfusion
Instagram:  /plantfusion

Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Snacks (Part I)

elf_logo_registeredSnacking at Disney with a Special Diet is, if you can believe it, easy. So easy, in fact, that you don’t even have to pack along all of your own foods.

But it gets even better…Have you heard the news? We are so excited to have Enjoy Life Foods as our Magic Plus Platinum Sponsor for the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention! Just like us, their whole business is devoted to making folks with food allergies and celiac disease happy with good-for-you treats that taste incredible. All of their items are free of the eight most common allergens, gluten-free, and sesame and sulphite-free, too. What’s more, everything is made in a dedicated plant and are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization set in place by The Gluten Intolerance Group.

But we don’t just love having Enjoy Life on board because of their awesome goodies (though it surely is one of the reasons!). We love that their products are pretty much safe for everyone, and they’re readily available at Disney World, too!

We’d venture to guess that every Quick Service location houses Enjoy Life’s Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies in a two pack for an allergy-safe dessert option. Some have the Ricemilk Crunch bars, as well.

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In addition, most Table Service have the cookies as a back-up when there aren’t other dessert options available. At the Table Service restaurants, the chefs generally stock a whole box in the back, meaning that the cookies often become an addition to nondairy ice cream, sorbet, and fruit to creating a full dessert option that is allergy-friendly. They often have ELF Sugar Crisp and Vanilla Honey Graham Crunchy Cookies on tap, too.

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Throughout the parks, in addition to Quick Service, you can also find whole boxes available for sale at a variety of places. The Garden Kiosk in Animal Kingdom carries most of the ELF soft baked cookies, including the Double Chocolate Brownie and Snickerdoodle.

Garden Kiosk

Sunshine Seasons in Epcot carries the whole boxes of the soft baked cookies and individual packages of the Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Looking for a candy bar? Boom Choco Boom Bars are always available too! They are the perfect grab and go items for a sweet treat while touring the parks.

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And when you didn’t think your allergy-friendly pancakes could get better? Think again: those ELF chocolate chips (yep, completely dairy- and soy-free!) are often in the back, allowing for mini dots of melty goodness in each breakfast bite. Really… what could be better?

Stay tuned for upcoming posts and contests featuring our title sponsor. We’re so glad that Enjoy Life Foods will be a part of our event!

Tell us: what is YOUR favourite Enjoy Life Foods product? Check them all out here.

Meet Our Vendors! >> Bee Nut Free

Meet Our Vendors! is an ongoing series where you’ll be able to get a sneak peek of who you’ll see in November! Feel free to leave comments and questions–for us and for the vendor–about products, practices, and anything else that’s on your mind.

Bee Nut Free, LLC is an allergen-friendly snack food company that is both gluten-free and free from the “Big 8” food allergens (milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat).  Their granola bars, energy bars, trail mix, and cookies are made with all natural, organic, Non-GMO ingredients which create a flavorful, nutritious, safe snack option.  Inspired by family members and friends with food allergies, Bee Nut Free strives to normalize eating and make snack food choices easier for those with food sensitivities.

We chatted with Jo-Anne, the owner and brains behind the business, and asked her a few questions (the really important ones). This is what she had to say:

Bee Nut Free Boxes

1.     You’re packed up with you Trails End Trail Mix and heading out the door for a hike.  Where’s your dream location?

My dream location for a hike is in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Doing a canopy tour and swinging with the monkeys in Costa Rica is on my “bucket list” – I can hardly wait to get down there! Bee Nut Free’s Trails End Trail Mix will be a huge hit with the resident monkeys because we add banana chips and dried blueberries – two delicious dried fruits rounding out the sweet/salty taste of this scrumptious trail mix.

2.    Ultimate (nondairy) ice cream sandwich combination:  what flavor with which of your cookies?

I’m a bit of a traditionalist so I’d have to combine our new large 5” Chocolate Chip Cookie with vanilla bean ice cream – really, who wouldn’t love that???  Although now  that I’m craving an icy treat, I’m thinking our large 5” Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookie with Carmel Sea Salt ice cream could be a hit.

3.    If you were shipwrecked on a tropical island and could only bring one of your products with you, which one would it be and why?

This is a no-brainer!  Our Ten Mile Tropical Granola Bar, of course!  When in Rome….right?  A medley of pineapple, mango, goji berries, with a heavy ginger finish is   the perfect blend of flavors to kick off any luau!  If you’re going down with the ship, go out dancing, I say!

4.    If you could create a cookie/bar inspired by a Disney ride/attraction, what would it be?

I kind of already have – our Sunny Honey Cookie Drops remind me of the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  Bathed in honey with a sunflower seed spread accent, we’re sure Pooh Bear would love these cookies!

pirates of the Caribbean disney

However, you asked if I could create a product inspired by a Disney ride/attraction… I’ve always loved the dark mysterious and ominous feel of the Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride.  This granola bar will of course have a Certified Gluten Free Oat, Quinoa, Organic Applesauce, and Organic Palm Shortening base but then we’ll add anise, chopped turmeric root, and a hint of coriander to finish this bar with a smoky, almost musky taste.  The anise will complement the other flavors highlighting the spunky, vivacious character of the pirates portrayed throughout the ride.

5.    What’s the craziest/funniest/most memorable time you’ve experienced with a fan?

2011 was the first summer we participated and introduced our products at the Vail Farmer’s Market in Vail, Colorado.  A 40-something gal was vacationing with some   girlfirends and became overwhelmed that she found something to satisfy her Celiac diet.  As she stated, “I’m used to coming to events like this and NEVER being able to  participate in all the delicious food opportunities because of my food sensitivities.”  She was so excited after tasting our products, and having a difficult time deciding what to bring home with her, she vaulted over our table and gave me a HUGE hug!  With tears streaming down her face, choked with emotion, she was overwhelmed from her experience of eating a granola bar for the first time in her life.  It was an emotional and uplifting experience for me!  We love that our products are helping to normalize eating for those with food sensitivities!

6.    Your cookies, bars, and trail mix are totally portable.  Where’s the most unique place you’ve seen your products travel to?The Heads Knysna SA

There are two places that stand out in my mind.  The first is to South Africa.  A neighbor of ours, who happens to be Celiac, picked up a few mixed cases of our bars and traveled throughout South Africa with Bee Nut Free in hand.  From what she tells us, she was so happy she did because she couldn’t find a single gluten free item anywhere!

The second place is the Great Wall of China.  It was really neat to receive photos of our Chocolate Chip Granola Bars and Cranberry Citrus Energy Bars along the turrets and stone steps of the Wall!  This travel location is particularly special to us since our daughter Lily was born in China.  We look forward to someday bringing our own stash of Bee Nut Free bars AND Lily to China to tour the highlights of her birth country.

Facebook:  /Beenutfree
Twitter:  @BeeNutFreeLLC
Instagram:  @BeenNutFree
Google+:  BeeNutFreeLLC